There are all these things you think you’ll do, but you won’t.
I’m learning to let things slide. The cats sleep in our room now. One sleeps curled up beside me, or on my chest, or between Andrew and me or wherever he fucking well pleases, the other sleeps curled up on the chenille blanket by the radiator. I get up in the middle of the night to let them out. Or in. Or out. I need to get up anyway to go to the bathroom. I’m getting older and don't expect to sleep through the night.
I thought I would write, but I don't. Two years into Andrew’s studies and the 180-piece IKEA corner desk I assembled to house the old computer I begged from work remains unused. Andrew doesn’t use the desk. He doesn’t like the plastic swivel chair, he prefers to study at the kitchen table or on the couch, or propped up on our bed. I like the chair well enough, I feel I have to because I chose it. It’s shiny and nailpolish red. I’ve only ever sat in it to tidy away the pieces of coloured tissue and fancy paper I keep in one of the desk’s alcoves, scavenged from prettily-packaged presents to be reused to wrap some of my own. That’s something I’ve gotten better at; thoughtful, hand-made gifts.
When we moved in first I spent ages browsing antique desks and leather swivel chairs on classified ads websites, but we don’t really have the room. The IKEA desk is fine. The office is where we keep the hoover and my fancy tissue paper and the sewing machine that I’ve never really gotten to grips with. We dry the washing in there on a clothes horse. The computer is not plugged in.
For a while I worried about where we’d put the IKEA desk if we had a baby. We’d need that room, and we couldn’t move it to the front room because that’s where I keep my bicycles. Then I worried about needing the front room too for my mam or my sister to come and stay because what if I couldn’t cope and then where would the bicycles go now that we’ve knocked down the rotting shed and thrown it in the skip with everything else the Byrnes left behind. Then I worried that the bicycles wouldn’t matter anymore because I wouldn’t be able to ride them anyway after having a baby. I worry a lot.
Learning to let things slide is difficult. I don't just mean our hopes to have a family, I mean everything, all the small things too. Accepting with grace that the world will not end if the house hasn't been hoovered in a week. Learning to live with the weeds in the garden and hugs from friends on days when I would rather they ignored me.
I do lots of things I never thought I could. I update Strava instead of blogging. I don’t write here because I don’t want to write about this and this is all I have to write about at the moment. Spend time with me and I’ll tell you all my stories and they'll be funny and warm because I want you to love me. But here, by myself, this is it and I am sorry and bored. I might write my guts out some other time but right now, I do not want to spend any time at that desk, in that corner where we’d probably put a cot if there was a baby to sleep in it.